I have seen a lot of people posting things on Facebook regarding their “top 9” photos of 2017. And it is so cute and I love it but when I went to do it I had more than 9 photos I wanted to use. Looking at all those photos made me realize that a lot has happened this year, the good, the bad and the ugly. I have grown and learned a lot this year, so instead of doing 9 photos, I’m going to reflect on 17 things I have learned over the past year, about myself and about everything. I’ll start it off on a lighter note!
1: I absolutely love baking. It’s my calm in the whirlwind of my everyday life, and what is even better, Ethan likes to help me too! Being able to share something I love with my son just makes me whole. I started doing little basic cakes and now I’m starting to carve cakes (like Ethan’s dinosaur birthday cake) and with the help of my friends I’m trying out designs I wasn’t even sold on at first, like the naked cake.
2: Popcorn is pretty much one of the best junk foods. Covered in chocolate, topped with sugar or multiple different seasonings, or even plain! And of course it’s the one food you start off eating all dainty, then 10 mins in you’re shovelling it into your mouth like you’ve never seen food before and licking the excess butter or toppings off your fingers like it’s some sort of crack haha
3: It is completely normal to feel lonely in a group of people, I’m not the only person that feels this way, and it’s totally ok. Sometimes we all just want that human interaction, and I don’t mean my kids, I mean other adults, someone you can say penis and vagina too without them snickering, laughing, rolling their eyes, or, in my case, when Ethan grabs it and goes “big bird”. That being said, you can certainly feel lonely at a party full of adults, especially if you haven’t been able to be “accepted” into a group. You’re probably a little different, say some crazy or stupid stuff, or even have something bigger going on mental you are trying to cope with. I’m horrible in crowds, I get verbal diarrhea and I’ll be at the grocery store and I just can’t stop talking! Its embarrassing but also kinda like therapy because I’m talking to an actual adult and that’s definitely something we take for granted before kids haha.
4: I wear an obscene amount of hoodie and legging combos. Something happens when you become a parent, especially a stay at home mom, you turn into a hoodie and a pair of leggings. Like legit my legs have no clue what denim feels like anymore 😂. I’m gonna be honest, I’m going to continue this because it is so damn comfortable, and when you spend your day with children hanging off of you, lord knows you don’t need constricting jeans pissing you off at the same time.
5: PANIC ATTACKS SUCK! Typically you have two options when you feel an attack coming on, the less successful method of trying to distract or talk yourself down, and complete utter breakdown. Know when you’re cold and you can’t stop shaking? Well try that amplified by 1000 and the feeling that your world is quickly closing in on you, anyone who says “slowly closing in on you” is full of shit, the actual commencing of a panic attack is like getting hit by a freight train. Now I’ll admit each attack has a severity meter, for example I had one yesterday that rated a 3 on a 1-10 scale. I’ve had a 10, your chest constricts, it starts getting harder to breathe, you’re hyperventilating, heavy horrible ugly crying, unable to get out words or thoughts, your eyes are burning because you are crying so much, you’re a heap on the floor, shaking uncontrollably, because you can’t even muster getting into a ball. It’s dark, it’s terrifying, and you’re suffering until it’s over.
6: I have a talent, it’s called eating an entire bag of chips in one sitting without even noticing, I bet you’re all jealous, all of you people who can only eat a couple chips out of a bag. Give me a bag of cool ranch Doritos or even a bag of salt and vinegar chips (yeah the ones that burn the shit out of your tongue till you feel likes it bleeding) and they will be gone before bed! Yeah yeah it’s not healthy, but I’m not exactly the poster child for health so deal with it haha.
7: I need to put myself in more situations I’m uncomfortable with so I can learn how to deal with that situation. I’m the person who makes friends with the dogs or children at parties! And I’m not a big drinker, if it involves walking home in any temperature under -15 you can gaurentee I’m driving unless there is a cab service. So I suck at adult gatherings. But after seeing a therapist and such I know I have to try to learn how to cope. Now it’s not like I’ve never been good at parties, hell I loved partying in university! I just have to learn how to love it again haha.
8: I can make amazingly delicious Christmas cookies, tea buns, and recently I’ve learned I can make a pretty good General Tso chicken! I used to think I was really only good at baking cakes and cupcakes but I’ve surprised even myself with how good I can be at making other things! I am challenging myself more and more, and it feels so good when a recipe turns out great!
9: I cannot get enough of medical shows. This year I must have watched greys anatomy and bones a minimum of 3 times each! The thrill behind it all, not to mention the cheesy romances and dramas between the characters, just gets me hooked!
10: I’m not ok, and that’s ok. I struggle a lot with social situations, I never feel like I belong and to be constantly be where you don’t feel comfortable is horrible for my mind. I had enough of it in June and decided to go to a psychologist. I have high anxiety and mild depression (along with horrible self image), when it comes to the depression I’m rather high functioning but I have episodes and they suck. But my anxiety ruins my day before it even starts. I think and overthink everything, especially interactions. If I’m out and I talk with you then you can guarantee that night I’m rerunning the conversation in my mind multiple times to figure out if I said something wrong or stupid. When I’m out places i sit by myself when I’m not comfortable and I’ll just observe and fight with myself whether I should go up to a group of people and chat or just stay where I’m too. I hate it because my anxiety wins and I end up looking like the loser at the party. Even with therapy I’m not better, but I’m trying and I’m learning, it’s not an overnight fix and there is a lot I need to fix, so please be patient with me. I don’t dislike anyone, I’m not a bitch, I’m just fighting with myself. Sometimes, I find it hard to get out of bed. And to be honest, if I did not have my children, I am sure there would be days that I didn’t get out of bed. It’s not just because I’m tired. I’m a mother, I personally do not know any other state than tired. And just because I say I’m tired doesn’t mean I need a nap, most of the time when II’m tired I have had enough of everything and I either need to push through it or get away from it all. As many of you who are mothers no, you can never get away from it all. So most days for perpetual state of tiredness. Depression and anxiety doesn’t just mean you are sad or feel nothing, for me some of the times I’m angry, like irrationally angry, generally over nothing, I could be in a bad mood and yell at my kids or Alex, or I could find something to feed my anger into, like someone’s being a bitch, and it’ll be like I’m super into a heated debate about something I probably don’t even care about. Anyways, since seeing the psychologist I’m coming to terms with a lot of things, and realizing what I’m going through is pretty normal in today’s society, which is almost scary but at the same time helpful because I know people understand what I’m going through, and as cliche as it sounds, I’m not alone.
11: Pug cuddles and pretty much the best cuddles and they are close to the best companion I could ever want or have. Sometimes you just want and need a cuddle, and getting cuddles from my kids is amazing but also rare, but ivy and Penny are all about the cuddles and it’s everything, they just want to be touching your leg, or leaned up against you, keeping you warm and loved. Even when I hate myself, my kids are angry, and I’ve probably pissed off my husband, I can sit on the couch and they with come over and cuddle me. They are the hugs I never knew I needed. They are so much more than just a dog to me, plus have you ever looked at a pug? They are a constant form of entertainment, adorable, and (as my sister put it) so ugly they are cute haha. Sometimes I just look in their faces, or overhear their snoring and I can’t help but laugh or smile ❤️.
12: Keeping my kids alive is more difficult than it looks haha. Did you know that kids don’t care what you say even if it’s in the best interest of their health? Yup they don’t give a shit. Yesterday my daughter (16 months) learned if she turns the garbage on its side she can get everything on the counter in the kitchen.. she already understands how to open doors, get in and out of her high chair, and climb on literally everything, but now she’s getting more inventive. Ethan’s a bit better but he’s still got a death wish too, but his is more.. running away from me in grocery stores and parking lots. This parenting thing is fun but holy hell its hard haha.
13: Sesame Street is still a great show, and the even have new characters, one named Abby! we are a “have the tv on 24/7” kinda people. But I like it because the children are never really engrossed in the tv, only if a song comes, then they dance for the song and continue on playing. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the stress of everyday and watch something “back to the basics”
14: You have to make time for yourself, and I know that’s impossible at times but you need to for your own mental health. I try to drink a coffee without disturbance every morning. Minimum of 50% of the time I fail, but I’m trying at least. Then I have my cakes, even though it’s kinda like my job, it’s still something I love doing and feel better after I have done it! 🙂
15: Time is nothing. Somehow I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old and I have no clue when that happened. I’ve been living in Churchill for almost 6 years! My pregnancy on Abby was just like a blink, and every time I blink they are passing milestones and are more and more grown up.
16: Churchill Falls isn’t actually that bad of a place to live. It’s safe, clean, quiet, and generally everyone is friendly so any encounters outside of your house are generally positive. The fresh produce situation sucks from time to time, there is snow like 9 months a year, and sometimes it’s so cold they have to close school. So I guess it has both positives and negatives, however I’m starting to like it here, nothing can replace living near my family, and having that family support, or even being near an actual medical centre with an actual doctor; however it’s a great place to get our start as a family and a great place to raise a family, if Alex’s professional career keeps us here, it’s not the end of the world anymore. We could have it a lot worse and it has taught me to appreciate the things I don’t have access to all the time, like a hospital, take out venues, or even Walmart.
To be honest I’ve been struggling getting 17 things, I mean, there is only so much you can learn in a year when you are not in school haha. But here is number 17!
17: Having friends that love your children, as much as you do, is so important. I have friends who want to take my kids in and out of their car seats, want to hang out with me and the kids, find my kids funny and even tolerate the, at their worst. They push the stroller, buy things for my kids, and interact with them! And that means so much to have friends like that in my life, and you can never have too many friends like that. Those are the friends you keep around and will stay around for a lifetime, and I love them so much for being there. They are there when I need to bitch, when I need to get out of my house, when I need a break, or even when I just want adult company to get fast food. Along with my family, they are the ones who help me push through the bad days and make each day a little better.
Well there it is! 17 things I learned in 2017, took a week to write but I think it was worth it. I love to write after all. Take each day as a day to learn something, and know in whatever you do, that you are not alone. Whether is losing weight, recovering after and illness or injury, or struggling with depression and anxiety, someone in the town and province is going through it as well, you’re never alone.